Feb. 17, 2012
HOUSTON - Junior Kayla Alf-Huynh set the school record in the 100 butterfly and Tulane's 200 free relay team posted a third-place finish in day three of the 2012 Conference USA Swimming & Diving Championship on Friday at the University of Houston's Campus Wellness and Recreation Center.
In addition, Caitlin Corcoran, Molly Jubas, Amy and Emily Needham, Gisele Calderon, Vanessa Loewen and Hagar Elgendy all set personal-best performances. With 148.5 points so far in the championship meet, the Green Wave are 43.5 points behind fifth-placed Marshall (192) and 212.5 in back of fourth-placed Houston (361). SMU leads the standings with 550 points, followed by Rice with 507 and East Carolina with 469.5.
"We had a much better day of racing today," Tulane head coach Lena Guarriello said. "Kayla broke our 100 butterfly record in the preliminaries and then re-broke it in the finals. Our 200 free relay was our best and most exciting race of the day. The team really stepped up today and put up some great performances. It helped to set up a great finals session for us tomorrow."
Alf-Huynh set the school mark in the 100 fly with a 55.73 in the morning's preliminaries and was even better with a 55.49 in the finals to finish fourth overall. Her times surpassed the former Tulane record of 56.17 set by Taylor Emerson on Feb. 25, 2005, at the C-USA Championship. Emily and Amy Needham was next for the Green Wave with a 56.94 and 57.26 to finish tied for 12th and 15th in the 100 fly, respectively. Calderon's 57.76, Amy Needham's mark of 56.89 and Loewen's 58.72 in the preliminaries were all personal bests.
The quartet of Alf-Huynh, Elgendy, Rachel Ranson and Kristine Gu combined to clock a 1:33.30 in the 200 free relay. The foursome's time ranks second in Tulane history and is just 14-100ths of a second shy of the school record of 1:33.16 set by Devlyn Quinn, Katherine McCoy, Cara Davidoff and Linda McEachrane at the 2005 C-USA Championship.
Erin Cunningham led the Green Wave effort in the 400 IM with a 4:32.00 to finish 15th while Corcoran's 4:36.63 and Jubas' 4:47.23 in the preliminaries were both personal bests. Claire Schelske and Shelby Kiser finished 15th and 16th in the 100 breast with respective times of 1:07.35 and 1:08.33. Corcoran's 100 breast preliminary time of 1:08.17 was a personal best.
Ranson and Allie Evans paced Tulane in the 200 free with times of 1:50.61 and 1:52.03 to finish 10th and 14th overall, respectively. Loewen headlined the Green Wave with a personal-best 58.21 in the 100 back to finish 15th and Amy Needham was one spot behind with a 59.50. Needham set a personal best in the event with a 58.71 in the preliminaries. Elgendy posted Tulane's final personal-best mark of the day with a 23.80 in the 50 free time trial.
The four-day C-USA Championship concludes on Saturday with the 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, 1650 free, platform diving and 400 free relay.